Friday, October 31, 2014

Lake Tahoe #3

Lake Tahoe, A.M. - Sierra Nevada  2014

Lake Tahoe, Smoke, Clouds - Sierra Nevada  2014

I got up early the next day and walked down to the Tahoe shoreline. The smoke that had reached such impressive heights yesterday had now been flattened out and starting to mix with some regular clouds that were moving into the area.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Smoke (King Fire) - Lake Tahoe  2014

Walking back to our motel we suddenly realized that what appeared to be the silhouette of towering clouds in the distance was actually smoke from the King Fire. Somehow very eerie . . . I used an iPhone 5s for this photo.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

South Lake Tahoe

Three Suits - Lake Tahoe  2014

OMG! Kittens (Slot Machine) - Lake Tahoe  2014

Well, here we were, in South Lake Tahoe walking over to the casinos. It was the middle of the week, so not too much was happening. We investigated the slot machines, but to be honest they were quite incomprehensible. Some of them even involved touch screens. And, as I had discovered in 2012, no more coin-operated machines.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

King Fire, Smoke

Forest, Smoke - Sierra Nevada  2014

As we drove east on Highway 50 going towards Lake Tahoe we could see a highly visible plume of smoke off to the north. Getting closer to the small town of Pollack Pines the smoke became much closer and well-defined . . . and then it was behind us.

This was the start of the King Fire, an extremely large and dangerous wildfire in the Sierra foothills. Smoke from the fire settled into our campground for two straight afternoons (nice and clear in the mornings), the second afternoon worse than the first, affecting not only visibility but our breathing.

So we decided to move up our departure by one day, leaving to drive the short distance to South Lake Tahoe in order to investigate the casinos there.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Grasshopper Blogging

Grasshopper - Lake Tahoe  2014

Looks like a grasshopper anyway. I was sitting in my camp chair when I noticed this interesting individual on a tree stump across the way.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ferns, Aspens, Yellow Plants

Ferns, Aspens - Sierra Nevada  2014

Yellow Plants, Pine Needles - Sierra Nevada  2014

I tried to take advantage of some nice diffused light, courtesy of some high clouds. On the 1960 Olympics ski trail.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Japan: Culinary Adventure (23): Curry Restaurant

Savory Course (Curry Restaurant) - Japan  2014

Dessert (Curry Restaurant) - Japan  2014

Not what you might think of when you think of a "curry restaurant." Very subtle flavors, upscale all the way, located in the Shinjuku Station complex.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Olympic Ski Trail

Olympic Ski Trail - Sierra Nevada  2014


Our second hike in the Lake Tahoe vicinity followed the route of a trail used in the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lake Tahoe #2

Lake Tahoe - Sierra Nevada  2014

Pine Tree, Lake Tahoe - Sierra Nevada  2014

Taken during an early morning hike from our campsite to the lake. Very nice . . . no one else was there, with the exception of a few kayakers off in the distance.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lake Tahoe #1

Lake Tahoe - Sierra Nevada  2014

It's been quite a while since I visited Lake Tahoe. I guess the most recent trip to the area was to Fallen Leaf Lake (adjacent to Lake Tahoe) in 2008.

Back then I was using an Olympus DSLR (E-510) and the famous 4/3 12-60mm lens. This trip I mainly used an Olympus E-PL5 with an Olympus "micro" four-thirds 12-50mm lens.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Camping - Lake Tahoe

Campfire, Tent - Lake Tahoe  2014

Hali and I went camping in September at Sugar Pine Point State Park on the west side of Lake Tahoe. A more luxurious experience than my minimalist backpack camps.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Horse Blogging

Tuffy, Moon - Marin County  2014

Tuffy and the moon. Shot with an iPhone 5s.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sausalito Sightems

Boats - Sausalito  2014

Mexican Sage - Sausalito  2014
During my last few Sausalito visits the light has been very nice.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tokyo Phones #2

Phone (Tokyo) - Japan  2014

Phone, Umbrella (Tokyo) - Japan  2014
More black and white from Tokyo in April.

Friday, October 17, 2014

San Francisco Sightems

Spinning Class - San Francisco  2014

Psychic Reading - San Francisco  2014

Top: Public spinning class on Market Street.

Bottom: Late evening on Clement Street. Not as colorful as this L.A. psychic sign.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Golden Gate Bridge #2

Golden Gate Bridge - Marin County  2014
The sun was just starting to break through the overcast. For some reason you can't walk to those buildings directly underneath the bridge, this is about the closest you can get.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Golden Gate Bridge #1

Golden Gate Bridge - Marin County  2014
Taken from the parking lot near the Discovery Museum on a Sunday AM. Uncrowded!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jubilee Jumps

Jubilee Jumps - Marin County  2014

. . . as seen by Mike a short distance from where he had set up his Farmers Market photo booth a few Sundays ago. This was early on, before the crowds.

Very little sales . . . people were finding it hard to concentrate, don't know why. Photo taken using the iPhone pano mode.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Dog Blogging

Dog Hiding - Alameda County  2014

Saw this after I parked my truck in Oakland for the Grand Lake Farmers Market. You have to drive to the booth location, unload all your stuff, then drive somewhere else to park.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Shinjuku Station

Shinjuku Station Tokyo April 2014 from Mike Mundy on Vimeo.

Taken using an iPhone 5s, edited in Movie Maker.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

In Tokyo, From the Train

Mural (Tokyo) - Japan  2014

Train Platform (Tokyo) - Japan  2014

. . . from the Yamanote Line, that is.

Friday, October 10, 2014

San Francisco Sightems

Dolls (Clement St.) - San Francisco  2014

Green Apples - San Francisco  2014

Top: dolls, taken late evening on Clement St.

Bottom: green apples seen in the window of a decorator's showroom south of Market.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Beautiful Lake Don Pedro

Lake Don Pedro - Central California  2014

Actually, not beautiful at all even in the best of circumstances. And now, with the drought . . .

At least it's surrounded by Digger Pines, a very pleasant tree.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Minaret Outlook

Minarets, Clouds - Sierra Nevada  2014

Loco Frijole - Sierra Nevada  2014

As Mike was driving out, he paused at the Minaret Outlook for this photo, the latest in a long series taken from this spot.

Later, dinner at The Loco Frijole in Mammoth. The next day, complimentary breakfast at his motel, then the trip home.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Reds Meadows Sightems

Bear Boxes, Reds Meadows - Sierra Nevada  2014

Red Boxes - Sierra Nevada  2014

Photos taken as Mike wandered around the stable area at Reds Meadows.

- Blog note: this is the 2500th mikereport post! Yikes!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Horse Blogging

White Horse - Oakdale  2014

Driving home after the backpack trip. I took this photo while stopped in traffic just outside of Oakdale. Also in the same vicinity: a new gated community coming soon! "55+." I used a Canon G12 for the photos (one-handed operation.)

Tesoro Gated Community - Oakdale  2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Hardest Part

Reds Meadows Cafe - Sierra Nevada  2014

The most demanding section of Mike's backpack was the last haul from the ranger station at Devil's Postpile up to the backpacker parking lot. Going uphill in the heat at the end of the trip: not fun.

But, just in time for lunch (hamburger, of course) at Reds Meadows! Just as Mike had done after his 2010 backpack.

Note: 2010 post photo taken with a Nikon D90. Above photo taken with an iPhone 5s.

Devils Postpile Parking Lot - Sierra Nevada  2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Tokyo Phones #1

Phone (Tokyo) - Japan  2014

Phone (Tokyo) - Japan  2014

More pix from the April, 2014 trip to Japan.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Camp Forest Details

Forest near Campsite - Sierra Nevada 2014

Pine Cones - Sierra Nevada  2014

Mike likes the disorderly look of much of the Sierra forests, fallen tree trunks and branches entangled. Also the extensive areas of lodgepole pine cones crunching underfoot, very photogenic.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Campsite #3

Tent, Forest - Sierra Nevada  2014

Pine Trees, Clouds - Sierra Nevada  2014

Mike's last camp this trip, in the vicinity of site #1. Although the day had started out perfectly clear, the clouds started to move in towards the afternoon. No moisture though.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Backpacking Items

Staff, Backpack, Bear Canister - Sierra Nevada  2014

Steripen - Sierra Nevada  2014
Top: as mentioned earlier Mike hadn't remembered to take his regular aluminum hiking pole. As a substitute he pressed into service a nicely-formed lodgepole pine branch. It came in quite useful, maybe even better in some respects than the metal one. Also in photo: Gregory backpack and bear canister in the background.

Bottom: Mike using a Steripen to purify a canteen's worth of creek water. He's always suspected that high-elevation Sierra streams really don't need "purifying," but the Steripen was on sale at Costco a year ago so he bought it then and used it for the first time this trip.